Mortimer brotherscombine to give Mayo victory
WESTMEATH'S rapid fall towards relegation continued at Charlestown yesterday where Mayo put them to the sword -- the home side gaining their first win as the visitors crashed to their third defeat.
It was no less than Mayo deserved and, in fact, they might well have won by a much wider margin in wintry conditions which were braved by a crowd of less than 2000 -- a big travelling support from the midlands were certainly very disappointed with a poor performance from their side.
However, it was John O'Mahony's men, showing a number of changes from the side which gained their only point in the league so far when they drew with Donegal, who struggled early on and failed to produce a score for 12 minutes. They did, however, eventually get moving as shown by the 1-10 of their total scored from play.
Wing-back Michael Ennis had Westmeath in the lead until Conor Mortimer opened Mayo's account in the 15th minute.
Denis Glennon, Westmeath's best player in an attack where the scoring power of the injured Dessie Dolan was badly missed, had Westmeath in front again when he pointed from play in the 19th minute but the game changed dramatically after that, the visitors failing to score for the rest of the half while Mayo hit 1-5 without reply.
The goal had a touch of good fortune about it but was well taken by Trevor Mortimer whose initial effort on the ground crashed back off the crossbar and into the path of Conor Mortimer, who gave his older brother a second bite and this time he finished in style.
Points from Mark Ronaldson, one of the new Mayo players to impress, Conor Mortimer from play, and then from a free saw Mayo go clear by five. Austin O'Malley and Ronaldson extended that lead to seven by the interval -- 1-6 to 0-2 -- as Mayo closed the half with late points from some rapid counter-attacking in numbers.
Mayo drew first blood to go further head inside two minutes of the restart when Mikey Sweeney hit the target just after his team-mate, O'Malley, picked up the only yellow card of the day.
Westmeath didn't throw in the towel but were struggling in too many areas, notably in the finishing department, to really cause any problems and Mayo appeared to be able to pick up the pace of the game at will.
Westmeath did manage to get within three scores -- 1-9 to 0-6 -- with 12 minutes remaining but Tom Parsons, Ronaldson, substitute Aidan Kilcoyne from a free and Tom Cunniffe all scored in turn to put the issue beyond any doubt to give Mayo a badly-needed lift from the bottom of the Division 1 pile.
For Westmeath, however, the only ways seems down, while this win will give Mayo some confidence going into their trip to Kerry next weekend.
Scorers -- Mayo: T Mortimer 1-1, C Mortimer 0-3 (2f), T Parson, M Ronaldson 0-2 each, T Cunniffe, A O'Malley, A Kilcoyne, P Gardiner and T Cunniffe 0-1 each. Westmeath: D Glennon 0-4 (3f), M Ennis 0-2, F Boyle, F Spollen 0-1 each.
Mayo -- D Clarke; L O' Malley, K McLoughlin, D Vaughan; P Gardiner, T Cunniffe, A Moran; T Parsons, R McGarrity; B Kelly, T Mortimer, M Sweeney; C Mortimer, A O'Malley, M Ronaldson. Subs: A O'Shea for A O'Malley (y/c, 37), A Kilcoyne for M Sweeney (6), S O'Shea for R McGarrity (65), C Boyle for A Moran (65), A Dillon for M Ronaldson (67).
Westmeath -- G Connaughton; F Boyle, K Gavin, J Keane; M Ennis, D Heavin, D Harte; D Duffy, N Kilcoyne; E Leonard, P Kelly, C Reilly; K Martin, T McDaneil, D Glennon. Subs: P Bannon for P Kelly (40), F Spollen for K Martin (45), D Gilmartin for T McDaneil (65), A Claffey for D Duffy (67).
Ref -- R Hickey (Clare).